Mumbai: The State Election Commission has rejected the Maha Vikas Aghadi government's demand for deferring the upcoming local body election until the compilation of empirical data of the OBC community. The MVA partners wanted that the ensuing elections could be deferred for at least three months and during that period the State Backward Classes Commission could collect the OBC empirical data. However, the SEC is going ahead with the polls to avoid incurring contempt of court.
The Nationalist Congress Party, which shares power with the Shiv Sena and the Congress in Maharashtra, on Friday warned that if the State Election Commission proceeds with the upcoming local body elections in the absence of OBC quota, then it may lead to a major law and order problem. NCP Chief Spokesman and Minority Affair Minister Nawab Malik claimed that the elections cannot be held in the absence of seats for the OBC community, which constitute 54% of the state population.
''BJP leaders are misleading the people on OBC quota in local bodies. The BJP-led dispensation at Centre wants to end political reservation in the country,'' he claimed.
''The MVA partners are of the unanimous view that the local body polls should not be held in the state without OBC seats. The BJP should stop applying double standards on the OBC quota issue,'' he said.
The State Election Commission on Friday announced that polling for the de-reserved OBC seats in the local bodies will be held on January 18.
State election commissioner U P S Madan also said that elections to general, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe seats in the 106 nagar panchayats, Bhandara and Gondia zilla parishads and panchayat samitis under their jurisdiction will be held as per schedule on December 21.
However, Madan said the counting for these elections will be held on January 19. The Free Press Journal broke the story on Friday about the State Election Commission’s move to issue fresh notification on the de-reservation of seats, earlier reserved for OBCs, and hold elections for the same. Of these de-reserved seats, 50% will be reserved for women from the general category through a lottery system.